Public Policy Polling, in Poll for U.S. Senate Race, Misleads Missouri Respondents

On August 30, Public Policy Polling released the results of a poll in the U.S. Senate race in Missouri. Three candidates are on the ballot: Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill, Republican nominee Todd Akin, and Libertarian nominee Jonathan Dine. However, the poll question is “The candidates for Senate this fall are Democrat Claire McCaskill and Republican Todd Akin. If the election was today, who would you vote for?” To see this, scroll down to Question Six.

Also the poll results do not even show a result for “someone else.” Instead, the pollster says the results are: McCaskill 45%, Akin 44%, “undecided” 11%. Thanks to PoliticalWire for the link.


  1. Will Fenwick · · Reply

    This race is somewhat equivilant to the South Carolina Senate race in 2010 where Democratic Alvin Greene’s credibility collapsed and the only third party candidate, Tom Clements of the Green Party, recieved more than 9% of the vote. It is reasonably certain that the libertarian in the current Missouri senate race will get at least a few percentage points of the vote, likely more than 5%. In a race that shows two pay polling as tight as this one does, the libertarian candidate is definately a factor that cannot be ignored by any reliable poll. Since he has virtually no name recognition, simply even adding someone else would likely be just as reliable as listing Jonathan Dine’s name.

    On another note is it possible to write in candidates in Missouri? If it is i imagine the number of write ins in the senate reace will be unusually high, so it might be even a better representation to include “someone else” in the polling rather than simply listing Johnathan Dine.

  2. Top three! Top 1000!

  3. #1, write-ins are permitted in general elections in 45 states, except they are banned for President in South Carolina and Arkansas, and they are banned for congress and partisan state office in California. The five states with a total ban on write-ins are Hawaii, Nevada, South Dakota, Louisiana, and Oklahoma.

  4. Will Fenwick · · Reply

    Thanks for that info! If i were running a poll that included Jonathan Dine’s name i would also include write in as an option for the poll as i predict a large number of scattering write in votes in Missouri.

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